Saturday, December 29, 2012

Curried Mussel Chowder

There's a couple inches of snow outside.  It's cold.  And I hate it.

I've never been a fan of this type of weather.  Even growing up in upstate New York.  I hated it.  Andy even says I have a permanent scowl on my face when the temperature drops below 32 F.  I guess I just like my sunshine and warm weather.  Can you blame me?

One thing I do like during this time, though, is curling up to a nice warm bowl of chowder.  There's just something so comforting about it.  I decided to switch up the normal clam for some mussels and a healthy dash of curry powder.  The result?  Andy thinks it's the best bowl of soup I've made to date.  Right on!


3 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into thin strips
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 shallot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 lb. new potatoes, diced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup white wine
3 parsley stems
1 bay leaf
pinch of dried thyme
pinch of black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon curry powder
pinch of dried fennel
3 garlic cloves, smashed
pinch of saffron
5 cups of milk
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup frozen corn
1 lb. shucked mussels (I bought them this way because it was easier, but you could certainly steam them and take them out of the shell on your own)
salt, to taste
chopped parsley, for garnish
baked naan, for serving

I love this because it's also a one pot meal.  Most soups are, right?  Right.  The less dishes I/Andy have to wash, the better.

Heat a large stockpot under medium high heat.  Add bacon strips and render until all of the fat is released and bacon is crispy.  With a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.  Reserve for garnish.

Add carrot, shallot, celery, and potatoes to the bacon fat.  Coat well and sweat for about 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle vegetables with flour and cook for another minute.  Add wine and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.  When mixture is thick, add in parsley stems, bay leaf, thyme, black pepper, butter, curry powder, fennel, garlic, saffron, milk, and heavy cream.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

About 2-3 minutes before serving, add your mussels (if they're already shucked, they should already be cooked, so you're only warming them) and your frozen corn.  Cook until warmed through.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with reserved bacon and chopped parsley.  Serve with naan bread.

This seriously hit the spot!  We've got leftovers and I don't foresee them lasting much longer than 48 hours!  Hope you guys are staying warm =)


  1. This looks warming and delicious. Perfect for the snowy weather.
    Happy New Year!

  2. I totally agree with you. Cold weather is only good for soups, stews and chowders! I don't like snow either and I totally understand having a scowl on my face when I see the weather outside is frightful. :)

    This looks creamy and delicious!! Wishing you a Happy and Wonderful New year 2013!!

  3. I haven't made a chowder in ages. Love the idea of curry! And mussels. Very creative, and perfect for the cold weather we're having. Good stuff - thanks. And I hope you have a Happy New Year!

  4. I've been wanting to try a chowder for a while now, and I think I'll give this one a try. I'm digging the addition of curry!

  5. Your chowder sounds fabulous! So many amazing ingredients. I prefer warm, sunny weather too. Once we've had 2 or 3 cold, dreary days in a row, my husband starts staying clear of me because he knows I'm going to be in a bad mood.

  6. This is real winter-warmer - I love it!!